Bjorn Rye

  • Sam Francis

    In an exhibition of works in progress, Sam Francis displays four major canvases which bring his (sometimes cyclic) evolution up to date. In two of these, Francis’ bands jag and collide in their familiar, delicately balanced “random” formations. In the others, a grid pattern is formed: one has nearly perfect squares, like the warp and woof of some fabric, incredibly magnified; the other has rectangles with a few diagonals transecting the plane as Broadway traverses midtown Manhattan.

    The bands lose nothing of their interest in forming these grids; their anecdotal and gestural richness is, if

  • Jim de France

    Also working out the possibilities of bands or bars is Jim de France. Always characterized by intelligence and reserve, de France’s new work is pleasingly spruce, elegantly simple. Flat, monochromatic canvases of pale colors—yellow, peach, cream—are transected by narrow stripes as Minimal and elegant as the custom pinstriping on a Malibu Colony Rolls.

    These stripes of orange, grayish-green or grayish-blue intersect in such a way as to imply the existence of wider or narrower bars, with the stripes as edge or separation. All lines are on the diagonal; the bars (or stripes) seem to enter the plane

  • Robert Cremean

    Picasso supposedly said, when reproached for the “ugliness” of one of his early Cubist paintings, “What comes after can be beautiful.” Sixty years after the fact, Robert Cremean is still working out basically Cubist tenets in his sculpture—while in the meantime the revolutionary has become the academic. Cremean is an academic sculptor but, as we’ve learned of the 19th century, the academic also has its merits. Cremean is a very impressive academic sculptor; his work can be both interesting and beautiful.

    The Mekler Gallery show (there’s a concurrent, and I think less impressive, exhibition at

  • Manny Farber

    Manny Farber exhibits large, nameless abstractions of collaged paper which give the impression, at least, of having been soaked in dye. The resulting blotches and streaks are “natural,” rather funky, and process-conscious, in contrast to the crisp and sometimes unexpected geometric profiles of the pieces. In most of the works, also, freely swirled streaks or ruled lines of paint act as a foil to the “natural” rhythm and design of the coloring process these are the more interesting pieces.

    Farber has been teaching in Southern California since 1970, and shares the local feeling for orchidaceous

  • Billy Al Bengston

    Self-consciously easel paintings, even still-lifes of a sort (with the consistency of his trademark iris), Billy Al Bengston’s work is full of art historical references—to Futurism, Cubism, Art Deco, Expressionism and, in both palette and esthetic, Matisse.

    But while Matisse, obviously, uses the colors and elegance of the Riviera as a catalyst to transcendent work, Bengston seems trapped in expressing a camp myth of Southern California. It should also be said, and immediately, that his work is delightful, light-hearted and beautiful to contemplate. The problem is that so often it’s not only

  • Jean St. Pierre

    The two series which make up the body of Jean St. Pierre’s third one-man show are both concerned with movement between poles: of chaos and order, the luxurious and the austere, the “natural” and the “artificial.”

    “Creation” is a series of six Rimbaud-inspired mixed media works on paper, most mounted on untreated plyboard in shallow, plexiglass boxes which let the viewer realize the presence of layers of mysterious hidden content—painting upon painting—beneath the surface or hidden by paper flaps.

    The series gains in interest as it progresses. In the fourth, a still uncertain geometry blooms as a

  • Jay Willis

    Jay Willis is concerned with form and, in the most literal sense, with illusion. His sculptural work relies on the sheet of glass—either mounted upright on a tabletop or clamped to a stand—and an arsenal of “props” (lighted and unlighted plumbers’ candles, mirrors, multicolored rope, crayons, paint, arrows, etc.), which he uses not only to form three-dimensional compositions but, magicianlike, to trick or surprise the eye. These props are placed before, behind, through or on the glass; in some cases, the illusion is merely of the objects suspended in space, while in others quite sophisticated